Indian Security Forces Bust LeT Funding Module in Kashmir

Amin Masoodi
2015.12.01
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151201-letfunding-620 Indian army soldiers stand guard in the Tanghdar sector north of Kashmir's Kupwara district following a gun battle where the army killed three suspected rebels last month. Police and the army claim they arrested members of a group funding the militants, Dec. 1, 2015.
AFP

In a major setback to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants in Jammu & Kashmir, the Indian army on Tuesday claimed to have cracked a funding module of the Islamist group, through the arrests of two suspects in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

The funding module with a Bangladesh connection has come to light for the first time in the north Indian state, according to officials.

Those arrested were identified as Mushtaq Ahmad Dar 32, and Aijaz Ahmed Dar, 30, both residents of Baramulla district, army spokesman Col. N.N. Joshi told BenarNews.

“The arrest of the duo is a major setback to the militant group that has stepped up attacks against security forces, especially in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district in the recent past,” Joshi said.

“A joint team of army and Jammu & Kashmir police’s special operation group arrested the duo minutes after receiving an input about the pair delivering money to active LeT cadres in the region,” he said, adding that investigations were on-going.

Fake currency valued at 45,000 rupees ($676.91) was recovered from the suspects, Joshi said.

The module’s suspected kingpin, Mohammad Yusuf Chopan, who is believed to be sourcing fake currency from Bangladesh, will likely be apprehended soon, a police official told BenarNews on condition of anonymity.

“After interrogating the two suspects, it was found that Chopan and one more person from north Kashmir had been receiving fake Indian currency from Bangladesh. They would somehow manage to convert the fake currency into legitimate cash for use of LeT cadres,” he said.

The police have launched a manhunt for Chopan and two other suspects, who were not named, for their role in delivering money to the LeT cadres.

The LeT claimed to have killed an army colonel, Santosh Mahadik, and to have critically injured Lt. Col. K. S. Nath in an operation in Manigah sector of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

Mahadik was killed in encounter with militants on Nov. 17, and Nath was critically injured a week later.

The combing operation in Kupwara’s Manigah area, near the Line of Control (LoC), a boundary that separates the Indian and Pakistani-controlled parts of Kashmir, has continued since Nov. 13.

LeT, which is suspected to be a Pakistan-based terror outfit, is also among armed separatist groups fighting for predominantly Muslim Kashmir to break free of Indian rule.

Last week, the LeT announced a cash reward of 2.5 million rupees ($36,710) for each militant involved in a long-running gun battle with Indian forces in the Manigah forest, in Kashmir’s Kupwara district, according to local media reports.

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